Another Bush First - Adds Signing Statement to Stem Cell Veto, Vetoing NAACP
In Solidifying Base, GOP Telling African Americans “You’re Either With Us, Or Against Us”
In a day of “firsts” for President Bush, the White House hit the trifecta, as the President added one of his growing controversial Signing Statements to his veto of the Stem Cell Bill, vetoing the NAACP, the historic civil rights organization that the President graced their annual convention for just the first time earlier in the day
With the President using the veto for the very first time in his presidency, to kill off the Stem Cell Funding Bill, and having issued over 700 Signing Statements, this is, according to many in the Beltway, unprecedented.
“This is beyond being bold, holding on to your values,” offered Ann Mitchell, veteran Capital Hill journalist. “This president is exhibiting, more and more, that he believes he has imperial powers... He’s using the Signing Statements as decrees to his subjects.”
NAACP executives and members were stunned with the news, having received the uplifting notice that the U.S. Senate, after a few bumps, voted 98-0 to extend the expiring Voting Rights Act, the measure so critical to the Civil Rights Movement.
Signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, the Voting Rights Act outlawed literacy tests and poll taxes that many Southern states used to prevent blacks from voting and maintain their culture of prejudice and segregation.
NAACP president and chief executive Bruce S. Gordon said he was “speechless” when he heard that, after leaving the NAACP Convention, pointing out that President Bush, in his speech, said “I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African-American community. For too long my party wrote off the African-American vote and many African- Americans wrote off the Republican Party.”
After being interrupted by a round of polite applause, Bush followed with “That history has prevented us from working together when we agree on great goals. And it's not good for our country. That's why I've come to share with you. We put the interest of the country above political party... I want to change the relationship.”
‘Who knew when he said that,” a somber Gordon noted softly, “that he was drawing a line, cutting us off, closing down the big tent.”
“What they are saying to us,” said NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, “is their now worn out refrain of you’re with us or against us.”
Sources tell The Garlic that early this morning, Gordon and the executive board of the NAACP were served with papers from the IRS, rescinding their Non-Profit status.
The White House has issued no comments about the Signing Statement Veto of the NAACP and the RNC would only say that they are “ focused on hanging on to the House and Senate.”More as this story develops
In issuing his first veto yesterday, President Bush added one of his growing, controversial Signing Statements, that vetoes the NAACP, who the President addressed earlier in the day for the first time